Former anti-corruption Chief and Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Mallam Nuhu Ribadu has been appointed as the Chair-person of a Petroleum Revenue Task Force recently created by the Minster of Petroleum Resources.
As Chairman of the task force, Mallam Ribadu who was presidential candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria in the 2011 presidential elections is expected to work with consultants and experts to determine and verify all petroleum upstream and downstream revenues (taxes, royalties, etc.) due and payable to the Federal Government of Nigeria; take all necessary steps to collect all debts due and owing; to obtain agreements and enforce payment terms by all oil industry operators; and design a cross debt matrix between all Agencies and Parastatals of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
Submitting monthly reports to the Minister of Petroleum Resources, the task force is also charged with developing an automated platform to enable effective tracking, monitoring, and online validation of income and debt drivers of all Parastatals and Agencies in the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources; and will work with world-class consultants to integrate systems and technology across the production chain to determine and monitor crude oil production and exports, ensuring at all times, the integrity of payments to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
A press release issued by Goni Sheikh, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources lists the 17-member Task Force as follows: Mr. Steve Oronsaye (former Head of the Civil Service of Federation) as Deputy. Other members are Mallam Abba Kyari, Ms. Benedicta Molokwu, 4 Senior advocates of Nigeria: Mr. Olisa Agbakoba (a Civil Rights activist), Mr. Supo Sasore, Mr. Tony Idigbe and Mr. Anthony George-Ikoli; Dr. (Mrs.) Omolara Akanji, Mr. Ituah Ighodalo, Mr. Bon Otti, Prof. Olusegun Okunnu, Mallam Samaila Zubairu, Mr.Ignatius Adegunle and Mr. Gerald Ilukwe. Others are representatives of the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), a subsidiary of the Federal Ministry of Finance: FMF Incorporated, Attorney General of the Federation/Ministry of Justice, office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Department of Petroleum Resources and the NNPC.
This development comes on the heels of an EFCC investigation into the activities of the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency following its citing in a much-publicised scandal over kickbacks to the Minister of Petroleum resources Mrs. Deziani Allison-Madueke. On January 1 2012, the Nigerian government announced the withdrawal of petroleum subsidy, catapulting the nation into weeks of protests and riots at home and abroad. The resulting negotiations with the Labour unions led to a compromise to fix petroleum prices at a 50% hike instead of the 100% increase that followed the announcement of the subsidy withdrawal as well as the insistence by labour leaders and civil society that the activities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the PPPRA be investigated.
Earlier on, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan had appointed the well-respected Octogenarian Dr. Christopher Kolade – former Ambassador the United Kingdom, as Chairman of the Subsidy re-investment committee. There are rumours that the subsidy re-investment committee's work are being stalled due to the fact that subsidy funds were not included in the 2012 budget leading to speculations that the entire process might be part of a grand plot by the Jonathan administration to hood-wink the Nigerian populace into accepting the subsidy withdrawal.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 February 2012 22:12
Written by Samira I. Hassan